(l-r) Richard Roddam Chapter Homes MD, Nadine Dack Clixifix Customer Account Manager, Clair Currie Clixifix Customer Success Manager
Online experts have been recruited to take the drama out of managing the aftercare process of dream homes in County Durham.
Chapter Homes called in customer care software specialists, Clixifix, to enhance homebuying customer experience at its new development at Eden Field in Newton Aycliffe.
Clixifix, based in Durham, has developed a platform that manages client feedback and repairs for the construction sector. The software is designed to help developers administer customer care tasks and deal with any snagging issues.
Chapter Homes managing director, Richard Roddam, is focused on ensuring the firm’s first major development delivers a high level of customer satisfaction and sees Clixifix as the perfect partner to ensure any issues are dealt with quickly and effectively.
He said: “The customer must be at the heart of everything we do, and Chapter Homes wants the homebuyer to feel as positive and excited entering their new house as they did when they first stepped into our show home.
“Snagging is perceived as the house gone wrong and can negatively impact the purchasing experience, but in reality, it’s an unfortunate, but necessary part of the process. By using Clixifix to deal with it, it becomes a key part of customer care and brand reputation.”
Formed in 2015, Chapter Homes started work on Eden Field in August 2016, which will provide 125 high quality two, three and four bedroom homes.
Clixifix helps housebuilders assure purchasers that issues are being dealt with, keeping them informed on progress. “Tickets” are created for every reported defect or repair – categorised by priority and time – then issued to the appropriate contractor or sub-contractor.
The link between tradesman and customer helps assuage any concerns the new purchaser has and as response time is measured against company KPIs, it improves dramatically.
A reporting function in the software also recognises trends in defects and helps eliminate them from the construction process.
Clixifix managing director, James Farrell, said: “Customer care starts with better communication and much of that communication is now online. That makes it harder to retain those soft skills, but what we have created is an area where the client can talk directly with the person or company that has carried out the work.
“What happens is people read material saying “move into your perfect new home” whereas in reality there are many things that can go wrong. The key is how you deal with the bits that go wrong and communication between buyer, builder and sub-contractor is critical.
“Once a ticket is created, there is a countdown until the ticket is closed or resolved. Sub-contractors are nominated on the ticket, so they know how long they have to respond, and the process goes from there. It’s about creating a positive message, sharing successes by handling defects quickly and to everybody’s satisfaction.”
Clixifix customer account manager, Nadine Dack, said: “Companies still use basic Excel spreadsheets to plot customer care, track defects and plan maintenance. Firms must be better than that nowadays when a viral social media post can cause reputational damage.
“Our software is designed by people with construction experience, for people working in construction, to benefit people moving into newly constructed homes…and it works brilliantly.”
Sunderland Software City business support specialist, Jeni Banks, said: “Clixifix is a fantastically innovative and agile young company that has created a solution to an issue that has plagued housebuilders for years.
“It’s great to see Chapter Homes seizing the opportunity to enhance the customer experience and utilising this fantastic new software that takes a large part of the stress out of buying a new home.”
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